Interior Health hires hospital ‘ambassadors’ to beef up security

Nine ambassadors will start work in Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops next week.

Interior Health’s three busiest emergency departments will welcome new team members next week.

Interior Health is implementing a new client service ambassador program to further enhance safety at Kelowna General, Royal Inland, and Vernon Jubilee hospitals.

“At Interior Health, the safety of our employees and physicians is a top priority, as is the safety of our patients and clients,” said Interior Health board chairman John O’Fee.

“Unfortunately, when caring for people who are in emotional, vulnerable, and stressful situations, their actions can be unpredictable and may include violence or aggression. This program is a good example of ways in which we are taking action to prevent and better respond to violent incidents.”

Although they are security employees, the ambassadors’ role differs from that of security officers. They are more casually dressed, and are integrated with the emergency department team. They work proactively with patients, visitors, and others in the department to avoid and mitigate incidents of aggression.

The new initiative is based on a similar program that has been successful in several emergency departments in the Lower Mainland.

The ambassadors have specialized training, which helps them to recognize and de-escalate potentially aggressive behaviors. As a result, if an incident arises they are able to step in and mitigate potential violence. This special training is developed and provided by security provider Paladin, in addition to the regular provincial violence prevention curriculum and other education.

The program is a partnership between the hospitals, Protection Services, Workplace Health and Safety, and Paladin Security.

The ambassadors will be easy to spot in their casual uniform (polo T-shirt and khaki pants.)

Nine ambassadors have been hired—three per site—and they will begin working at KGH, RIH and VJH next week, said Interior Health.

Just Posted

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

Your weekend story highlights

Every Saturday, the Capital News will highlight stories from the week

The Paperboys visit Kelowna

Check out the Rotary Centre for the Arts Jan. 27

Let it snow in Kelowna

Snow is in the forecast for this week

Photos: Adventuring in Stuart Park

Have you seen Friday’s edition of the Capital News? Check out the photos featured

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Porter blanks Blades in Rockets’ road trip finale

Rookie netminder stops 40 shots in Kelowna’s last game before Christmas break

All aboard the Summerland Christmas Express

The first train of the Summerland Christmas Express schedule.

Meningococcal clinics open this Sunday

Interior Health is stepping up efforts to get young people vaccinated against Meningococcal.

Update: RCMP arrest domestic assault suspect west of Kamloops.

The RCMP Emergency Response Team made the arrest at around 4:30 p.m.

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Most Read